All volunteering work in Kings Park has now ceased and our two employees (Helena and Alex) are working from home. Nevertheless, some green shoots are starting to appear.
The first piece of good news is that we have arranged to sell 5,000 of our plants to Zanthorrea Nursery, for a revenue boost of around $18,000 for the Friends.
We are also likely to be granted financial assistance to cushion the impact of cancelled events and lost revenue from cancelled plant sales. We have applied for Commonwealth Government funds under the JobKeeper and Business Cash Flow schemes. We are also applying for Lotterywest financial assistance (through the Event Cancellation Relief scheme). If these applications are successful it is likely that the financial impact of the coronavirus on the Friends of King Park will be small.
As we had half expected, Lotterywest has decided not to fund any outdoor events this year. Therefore the grant of $100,000 for the Spring Festival in September will not be forthcoming.
Our plant sales for the remainder of the year are still up in the air. We have petitioned BGPA to give priority to allowing the Growing Friends back into the nursery as soon as possible, in order to tend to and grow our plants in preparation for future plant sales. An online plant sale in late May is still a possibility; although restrictions would have to be relaxed very soon for this to proceed. We will make a decision about the September plant sale when we are in a position to determine the number and quality of plants available for sale to the public. This will depend, of course, on when the Growing Friends are allowed access to the nursery.
At the moment the signs are looking good for a relaxation of restrictions and a resumption of volunteer activities in the near future. We are all hopeful that the second half of the year will get us back on track; although it will take some months before we fully recover from the COVID-19 setback.
Elsewhere in this newsletter, we have alerted members to the fact that the October AGM will elect a new committee to serve from October 2020 to October 2022. Some MC members are planning to nominate for another term of office and it is good that we will have some continuity of membership (provided, of course, that they are elected for another term). However, we are also keen to hear from prospective new members who could bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the committee’s deliberations. We would like to meet anyone interested in nominating for the committee or for any office well in advance of October. Nominations will be called for in due course.